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Among the smooth stones of the stream are the idols you love;
they, they are the object of your devotion.[a]
You pour out liquid offerings to them,
you make an offering.
Because of these things how can I relent from judgment?[b]
On every high, elevated hill you prepare your bed;
you go up there to offer sacrifices.
Behind the door and doorpost you put your symbols.[c]
Indeed,[d] you depart from me[e] and go up
and invite them into bed with you.[f]
You purchase favors from them;[g]
you love their bed,
and gaze longingly[h] on their naked bodies.[i]

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  1. Isaiah 57:6 tn Heb “among the smooth stones of the stream [is] your portion, they, they [are] your lot.” The next line indicates idols are in view.
  2. Isaiah 57:6 tn The text reads literally as a question, “Because of these am I relenting?” However, the initial letter he may be dittographic (note the final he [ה] on the preceding word). In this case one could understand the verb in the sense of “Because of these I will seek vengeance,” as in 1:24. If the prefixed interrogative particle is retained at the beginning of the sentence, then the question is rhetorical, with the Niphal of נָחָם (nakham) probably being used in the sense of “relent, change one’s mind.”
  3. Isaiah 57:8 tn The precise referent of זִכָּרוֹן (zikkaron) in this context is uncertain. Elsewhere the word refers to a memorial or commemorative sign. Here it likely refers to some type of idolatrous symbol.
  4. Isaiah 57:8 tn Or “for” (KJV, NRSV).
  5. Isaiah 57:8 tc The Hebrew text reads literally, “from me you uncover.” The translation assumes an emendation of the Piel form גִּלִּית (gillit, “you uncover”), which has no object expressed here, to the Qal גָּלִית (galit, “you depart”).
  6. Isaiah 57:8 tn Heb “you make wide your bed” (NASB similar).
  7. Isaiah 57:8 tc Heb “and you [second masculine singular, unless the form be taken as third feminine singular] cut for yourself [feminine singular] from them.” Most English translations retain the MT reading in spite of at least three problems. This section makes significant use of feminine verbs and noun suffixes because of the sexual imagery. The verb in question is likely a second person masculine singular verb. Nevertheless, this kind of fluctuation in gender appears elsewhere (GKC 127-28 §47.k and 462 §144.p; cf. Jer 3:5; Ezek 22:4; 23:32; cf. J. N. Oswalt, Isaiah [NICOT], 2:473, n. 13). Secondly, when this verbal root signifies establishing a covenant, it is normally accompanied by the noun for “covenant” (בְּרִית, berit). Finally, this juxtaposition of the verb “to cut” and “covenant” normally is followed by the preposition “with,” while here it is “from.” The translation above assumes an emendation of וַתִּכְרָת (vatikhrat, “and you cut”) to וְכָרִית (vekharit, “and you purchase”) from the root כָּרָה (kharah); see HALOT 497 s.v. II כרה.
  8. Isaiah 57:8 tn The Hebrew text has simply חָזָה (khazah, “gaze”). The adverb “longingly” is interpretive (see the context, where sexual lust is depicted).
  9. Isaiah 57:8 tn Heb “[at] a hand you gaze.” The term יָד (yad, “hand”) probably has the sense of “power, manhood” here, where it is used, as in Ugaritic, as a euphemism for the genitals. See HALOT 387 s.v. I יָד.